Is there really a stigma attached to shopping at Wal-Mart?

Avatar image for qx0d
#1 Posted by qx0d (137 posts) -

I've met a few people in real life, who say they wouldn't shop at Wal-Mart. They basically made it sound like that's where "low class" people shop.

I did a Google search, and I saw similar comments. I saw people saying how they would be embarrassed to buy clothes there.

I mean... are these people serious? What's so bad about Wal-Mart clothes? Or shopping at Wal-Mart in general? That is ridiculous.

I didn't know it was something to be embarrassed about. It's one store my family shops at.

So are people actually serious? Is there really a stigma to shopping at Wal-Mart? Where are people supposed to shop, if not Wal-Mart?

Avatar image for ezekiel43
#2 Edited by Ezekiel43 (725 posts) -

I go to Smith's instead as much as I can. Walmart's backpack policy is terrible enough that I don't to go there. No other store I've been to has this policy. From my blog:

This makes so little sense to me. People are allowed to walk in with big purses and handbags, but I have to put my backpack in a locker? There is no difference. Actually, it would be far easier to steal with a purse than with a backpack. I haven’t asked how their locker system works, but I shouldn’t have to do it. In Germany, I would just show the cashier the inside of my bag and would be on my way. At least be consistent about it! If I have to take off my backpack, make EVERYONE take off their purses and bags. See what the backlash will be. Especially from women.

Avatar image for shellcase86
#3 Posted by shellcase86 (4109 posts) -

Most of those people are lying, OP. I'm not the biggest Walmart fan, but they're product selection and hours of operation are major pluses for me and my convenience. The service is terrible, though.

Avatar image for Solaryellow
#4 Posted by Solaryellow (4482 posts) -

They don't shop there.......until they can save a nickle on a can of corn or a buck on glue.

Avatar image for comp_atkins
#5 Posted by comp_atkins (35346 posts) -

i have a walmart literally right down the street from where i live and i tend to not shop there.

the reasons being.

1) it's always mobbed and the parking is utter shit, the lot is always a mess with carts strewn about

2) despite it being mobbed and having like 30 registers in the store, there are only 5 of them that are ever staffed so i get to wait in line for 15 minutes when i need to pay

the sam's club next door though? that's a different story.

Avatar image for MrGeezer
#6 Posted by MrGeezer (59702 posts) -

@qx0d said:

I've met a few people in real life, who say they wouldn't shop at Wal-Mart. They basically made it sound like that's where "low class" people shop.

I did a Google search, and I saw similar comments. I saw people saying how they would be embarrassed to buy clothes there.

I mean... are these people serious? What's so bad about Wal-Mart clothes? Or shopping at Wal-Mart in general? That is ridiculous.

I didn't know it was something to be embarrassed about. It's one store my family shops at.

So are people actually serious? Is there really a stigma to shopping at Wal-Mart? Where are people supposed to shop, if not Wal-Mart?

I'm a low class person who buys clothes at Wal-Mart. And I can say from experience that Wal-Mart is a horrible place for clothes.

Wal-Mart is a great place for buying lots of things, but in my experience most of their clothes tend to be low-quality as hell. Hell, when I buy my shoes from Wal-Mart, they generally don't even last a month before having to be replaced. Honestly, the only reason I buy that kind of stuff from Wal-Mart at all is because Wal-Mart is really close to my home and I'm too lazy to drive across town to where I can pick up decent clothes.

But yeah, for other stuff what the hell difference does it make? It's not as if the bananas or the toilet paper at Wal-Mart are any different than the bananas or toilet paper that you'll find anywhere else.

Avatar image for suna
#7 Posted by suna (5 posts) -

Most of the people I know who have a problem with Wal-Mart have a problem with its shoddy business practices, quality, or are ex-employees who hated working there. Websites like people of Wal-Mart also affect how people look at its costumers, as if other stores didn’t have slobs, disgruntled employees or poor people in its premises.

Yes, there are people who have a legitimate gripe with Wal-Mart, but I think most of the time it’s just elitism or a case of low-hanging fruit.

Avatar image for warmblur
#8 Posted by warmblur (1098 posts) -

My soul dies a bit when I go there.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#9 Edited by mrbojangles25 (42343 posts) -

I don't judge people for shopping at Wal-Mart.

But Wal-Mart sells absolute shit. If you're shopping at Wal-Mart, I would think/hope it's because you can't afford better. And like I said, not judging you, it's just an observation.

Unless you can afford better...then I might judge you for being cheap.

But, as others have said, 80% of the crap you get at Wal-Mart is the same as everywhere else. Though it might be a bit mishandled, I've purchases produce from Wal-Mart and it is always in the worst shape.

Avatar image for one_plum
#10 Posted by one_plum (6539 posts) -

Maybe in the eyes of snobby rich people and hipsters.

Avatar image for lazyhoboguy
#11 Posted by lazyhoboguy (1692 posts) -

I haven't been in a wally world in quite awhile.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#12 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (24520 posts) -

I suppose it depends on the neighborhood a Wal-Mart is located at. The one nearest our house is at a posh shopping center where most of the customers are from the nearby subdivisions. The Wal-Mart is clean and orderly. Most customers are careful to place shopping carts at the proper spots and not leave them everywhere.

The produce are from local sources and in excellent quality. If it was nearer, I'd do groceries there instead of the supermarket.

Stigma? I don't give a sh*t about stigma. If Wal-Mart has what I want, I'll shop there.

Avatar image for MrGeezer
#13 Posted by MrGeezer (59702 posts) -

@jun_aka_pekto said:

I suppose it depends on the neighborhood a Wal-Mart is located at. The one nearest our house is at a posh shopping center where most of the customers are from the nearby subdivisions. The Wal-Mart is clean and orderly. Most customers are careful to place shopping carts at the proper spots and not leave them everywhere.

The produce are from local sources and in excellent quality. If it was nearer, I'd do groceries there instead of the supermarket.

Stigma? I don't give a sh*t about stigma. If Wal-Mart has what I want, I'll shop there.

Yeah...the Wal-Mart near me has a lot of crappy customers and that's sort of a turnoff. But honestly it's really not as if the other grocery stores in my immediate area have a higher class of customer. It's really just that the Wal-Mart does more business so I'm more likely to deal with that s*** more at Wal-Mart simply because they have more customers at any given time.

One weird thing I have noticed about the Wal-Mart near me: customers are always walking to the doorway and then stopping right when they get to the door. I'm not saying that's a Wal-Mart problem, that's a customer problem. But the really weird thing is that I don't see this happening when I go to the other grocery stores. At the other grocery stores, if I'm walking out the door behind another customer, they typically just walk right out the door. But at Wal-Mart, I can be walking towards the door behind another customer and about 80% of the time they'll just stop as soon as they get in the doorway. Then they'll just stand there blocking the door while checking to see if they forgot any of their grocery bags or if they forgot their kids. And I'm thinking, "you've gotta be f***ing kidding me."

I mean, yeah...by all means check to make sure that you have all of your groceries and that you still have your kids with you. But can you please do that before getting to the f***ing door? Why the hell would people just wait until getting to the door to check that stuff, and then block the door and make everyone behind them wait?

That's my new complaint. My old complaint used to be standing in the checkout line behind people who have their cards declined. That used to happen all the freaking time for me, but thankfully I don't see that happening as much any more. Basically it's like, someone would ring up a bunch of groceries, then swipe their card and their card would get declined. Then they'd stand there trying to argue to the cashier that they know they have enough money and there must be some kind of problem on Wal-Mart's part. And it's like, firstly, you know damn well that many of those customers already probably knew that they didn't have sufficient funds. They're just trying to go down to the last penny, and then acting surprised when they go over. And secondly, even if they do have the funds and there's some mistake, what the **** is the cashier supposed to do about it? Don't stand there blocking the line and giving the cashier shit because your card got declined. Get the hell out of the line, resolve the problem, THEN come back and buy the stuff. And to top it off, I've on several occasions seen this happen to two or three consecutive customers in a row.

And if it wasn't that, it was often people who took ten times longer than they needed to simply because they didn't know how to use their card. Okay, I get it: everyone gets their first debit or credit card at some point. But before ringing up $200 worth of groceries and then spending minutes trying to figure out how to use your card to pay for it, could you please figure out how to use your card FIRST?

Avatar image for plageus900
#14 Edited by plageus900 (2552 posts) -

I don't know what it is, but it seems like half the customers of every Wal-Mart I've been to look like they belong to some travelling carnival troupe.

The last time I was there, some one-eyed old man in a motorized cart was yelling at his wife and chasing her through the aisles. She just kept walking away while telling him she's sick of his shit.

Then not 5 minutes later, I saw some mom trying to herd her 13 kids through the store. Yes 13. I counted.

Avatar image for Rockman999
#15 Edited by Rockman999 (7293 posts) -

I wish I could answer but I grew up in NYC and we never had a Wal-Mart here.

Wal-Mart is really only a thing in the irrelevant parts of this country like small towns and lesser cities out in the south and mid-west.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#16 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (24520 posts) -

@MrGeezer: Going to the Super Wal-Mart at our area is just like going to Target or Safeway/Fry's. There's none of the stereotype crap I'm seeing mentioned in this thread, again because ours is in the middle of a subdivision area.

----

Avatar image for Johnny-n-Roger
#17 Posted by Johnny-n-Roger (15148 posts) -
@ezekiel43 said:

I go to Smith's instead as much as I can. Walmart's backpack policy is terrible enough that I don't to go there. No other store I've been to has this policy. From my blog:

This makes so little sense to me. People are allowed to walk in with big purses and handbags, but I have to put my backpack in a locker? There is no difference. Actually, it would be far easier to steal with a purse than with a backpack. I haven’t asked how their locker system works, but I shouldn’t have to do it. In Germany, I would just show the cashier the inside of my bag and would be on my way. At least be consistent about it! If I have to take off my backpack, make EVERYONE take off their purses and bags. See what the backlash will be. Especially from women.

A bit sexist, isn't it?

Avatar image for Baconstrip78
#18 Posted by Baconstrip78 (1121 posts) -

It’s a crappy experience for sure. I get the feeling that everyone employed at the Walmart near me is a tax-break to the company. 80+ year olds, physically handicapped, mentally retarded, and people who look like they are on work release from state correctional.

Avatar image for mattbbpl
#19 Edited by mattbbpl (16176 posts) -

@comp_atkins said:

i have a walmart literally right down the street from where i live and i tend to not shop there.

the reasons being.

1) it's always mobbed and the parking is utter shit, the lot is always a mess with carts strewn about

2) despite it being mobbed and having like 30 registers in the store, there are only 5 of them that are ever staffed so i get to wait in line for 15 minutes when i need to pay

the sam's club next door though? that's a different story.

Yeah, I avoid Wal-Mart like the plague. I don't have a stigma about the people in there or anything, it's just a miserable experience.

Avatar image for marine39usmc
#20 Posted by marine39usmc (5 posts) -

I avoid Walmart as much just because I don't like to shop amongst a million other people.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#21 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (24520 posts) -

After driving around earlier today, I think the stigma of Wal-Mart reflects more the neighborhood they're located in.

Some are quite nice. Others look like a place where the scumbags shop at.

Avatar image for comp_atkins
#22 Posted by comp_atkins (35346 posts) -
@jun_aka_pekto said:

After driving around earlier today, I think the stigma of Wal-Mart reflects more the neighborhood they're located in.

Some are quite nice. Others look like a place where the scumbags shop at.

a few years ago i was in santa fe on a a road trip and stopped at a walmart early on a weekday morning and it was beautiful. must have been brand new. and it was practically empty :)

Avatar image for ajstyles
#23 Edited by AJStyles (245 posts) -

I am Canadian and Wal-Mart attracts the Americans. It is very obvious who the Americans are when I go there.

I don’t hate Americans. I just prefer not to shop with them if I don’t have to.

I typically only go to Wal-Mart as a last resort.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#24 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (24520 posts) -
@comp_atkins said:

a few years ago i was in santa fe on a a road trip and stopped at a walmart early on a weekday morning and it was beautiful. must have been brand new. and it was practically empty :)

I've seen some Wal-Marts that were pretty bad. All of them were in Upstate New York at the Syracuse area.

Avatar image for Jacanuk
#25 Posted by Jacanuk (17003 posts) -

Why would there be a problem with shopping at the place where you can get what you need at the best price?

But it´s like with that stunt payless made, some narrowminded people are snobs and think because you pay 1500$ for something it makes you worth more.

Avatar image for tryit
#26 Posted by TryIt (12800 posts) -

@qx0d

depends on what you are shopping for.

Go to the furniture section of Walmart. Look at their chairs, desks, tables, bookshelves etc.

now...would you put those into the living room of a $300,000 home? maybe, maybe not.

Avatar image for speedytimsi
#27 Edited by speedytimsi (714 posts) -

Well I think it's their return policy or something. When someone returns it they just put it straight back to the clothing line. Clothes are worn and washed and taken back because blood is on it...haha no thanks. Even Goodwill is better than this.

But clothes are so cheap now and have discount all the time everywhere....

But yeah I don't shop at Wal-Mart if I don't have to even tho it's 5 minutes away from my house. Only time is when I have to buy one thing from it that i need now like an Aerosol spray can for my computer.

Avatar image for tryit
#28 Posted by TryIt (12800 posts) -

@speedytimsi said:

Well I think it's their return policy or something. When someone returns it they just put it straight back to the clothing line. Clothes are worn and washed and taken back because blood is on it...haha no thanks. Even Goodwill is better than this.

But clothes are so cheap now and have discount all the time everywhere....

But yeah I don't shop at Wal-Mart if I don't have to even tho it's 5 minutes away from my house. Only time is when I have to buy one thing from it that i need now like an Aerosol spray can for my computer.

how do you know that?

Avatar image for tryit
#29 Posted by TryIt (12800 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

Why would there be a problem with shopping at the place where you can get what you need at the best price?

But it´s like with that stunt payless made, some narrowminded people are snobs and think because you pay 1500$ for something it makes you worth more.

completely depends on what you are shopping for.

not all products are created equal in quality. if you need me to explain that I can but I am hoping not

Avatar image for speedytimsi
#30 Edited by speedytimsi (714 posts) -

@tryit: i know people that once worked there. Pretty sure they are exaggerating w/ the blood (probably just ketchup or something) but yeah some people just wash it and take it back (and those are the nicer people). Some don't even wash it.

@Jacanuk said:

Why would there be a problem with shopping at the place where you can get what you need at the best price?

It depends on how people shop. I don't browse at Wal-Mart. I just go straight for the item(s) I need to buy quick. In and out in less than 10 minutes. So maybe I don't get the best price. Wal-mart is like a convenience store for me at least my local shop. Weird things happened at some Wal-Marts in the vicinity where my Dad lived near already so if I go there I do not want to stay longer than i need.

Avatar image for jeezers
#31 Edited by jeezers (1945 posts) -

I'll go to Wal-Mart, dont usually get clothes there tho unless I need underwear,socks, sweat pants, basic stuff.plus they still cary DVDs and cds which I like, Wal-Mart is about conveinance, I can buy a sleeping bag, a video game, socks, a crockpot, tools, bullets, a shelf. Its open 24/7 and the one closest to me has self check out so I dont even have to talk to an employee if im trying to get in and out.

Avatar image for tryit
#32 Posted by TryIt (12800 posts) -

@speedytimsi said:

@tryit: i know people that once worked there. Pretty sure they are exaggerating w/ the blood (probably just ketchup or something) but yeah some people just wash it and take it back (and those are the nicer people). Some don't even wash it.

@Jacanuk said:

Why would there be a problem with shopping at the place where you can get what you need at the best price?

It depends on how people shop. I don't browse at Wal-Mart. I just go straight for the item(s) I need to buy quick. In and out in less than 10 minutes. So maybe I don't get the best price. Wal-mart is like a convenience store for me at least my local shop. Weird things happened at some Wal-Marts in the vicinity where my Dad lived near already so if I go there I do not want to stay longer than i need.

no I mean how do you know Goodwill is better than that?

Avatar image for Sevenizz
#33 Edited by Sevenizz (2192 posts) -

I don’t shop at Walmart for ethical reasons. Very little of their products are ‘made in america’ or even attempted to while Walmart touts themselves as patriotic for hiring Americans. Well who else are you going to hire when doing business IN America? Most of their goods are outsourced from China which brings up human rights and quality issues.

Plus Walmart takes out a ‘peasant insurance’ policies on their employees. What’s that you might ask? When a Walmart employee dies - regardless of whether or not they still work there, Walmart receives a payout on said individual upon death. This is not shared or even discussed with that person’s family or spouse.

Oh, and for a discount store, their discounts are rather poor. Target and Bestbuy regularly sell similarly stocked items cheaper.

Avatar image for speedytimsi
#34 Edited by speedytimsi (714 posts) -

@tryit

no I mean how do you know Goodwill is better than that?

Goodwill is both better and worse. I mean people don't expect much for 99 cents clothes or $35 mystery clothes bin to be supreme. Just don't buy underwear there. Clothes OK....At least Goodwill partially recycle unsold or poor condition clothes or try to save the planet.

What I'm saying is Walmart poses their clothes is new, but yeah sometimes they have some refund clothes in there they do not tell people about.

Avatar image for tryit
#35 Posted by TryIt (12800 posts) -

@speedytimsi said:
@tryit

no I mean how do you know Goodwill is better than that?

Goodwill is both better and worse. I mean people don't expect much for 99 cents clothes or $35 mystery clothes bin to be supreme. Just don't buy underwear there. Clothes OK....At least Goodwill partially recycle unsold or poor condition clothes or try to save the planet.

What I'm saying is Walmart poses their clothes is new, but yeah sometimes they have some refund clothes in there they do not tell people about.

ok let me help you read what was said in a way that is logical

Clothes are worn and washed and taken back because blood is on it...haha no thanks. Even Goodwill is better than this.

that implies that one has knowledge that Goodwill is not putting clothes back on the rack after a return.

please resolve this

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#36 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (24520 posts) -
@tryit said:

@qx0d

depends on what you are shopping for.

Go to the furniture section of Walmart. Look at their chairs, desks, tables, bookshelves etc.

now...would you put those into the living room of a $300,000 home? maybe, maybe not.

Ya. But, if I want furniture, I go to a furniture store. Most furniture I see at Wal-Mart, Target, and similar stores are particleboard crap. Sears might have some decent stuff. But, the best selections are still at a dedicated furniture store.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#37 Posted by LJS9502_basic (165417 posts) -

@speedytimsi said:

Well I think it's their return policy or something. When someone returns it they just put it straight back to the clothing line. Clothes are worn and washed and taken back because blood is on it...haha no thanks. Even Goodwill is better than this.

But clothes are so cheap now and have discount all the time everywhere....

But yeah I don't shop at Wal-Mart if I don't have to even tho it's 5 minutes away from my house. Only time is when I have to buy one thing from it that i need now like an Aerosol spray can for my computer.

They ALL do that.............

Avatar image for speedytimsi
#38 Posted by speedytimsi (714 posts) -

@tryit said:
@speedytimsi said:
@tryit

no I mean how do you know Goodwill is better than that?

Goodwill is both better and worse. I mean people don't expect much for 99 cents clothes or $35 mystery clothes bin to be supreme. Just don't buy underwear there. Clothes OK....At least Goodwill partially recycle unsold or poor condition clothes or try to save the planet.

What I'm saying is Walmart poses their clothes is new, but yeah sometimes they have some refund clothes in there they do not tell people about.

ok let me help you read what was said in a way that is logical

Clothes are worn and washed and taken back because blood is on it...haha no thanks. Even Goodwill is better than this.

that implies that one has knowledge that Goodwill is not putting clothes back on the rack after a return.

please resolve this

When I say "better," I means that they do a better job in the communication of the item/condition/situation than Walmart, not necessarily the handling of the item. Maybe that's a mistake of me not explaining it explicitly.

Goodwill does not wash clothes. But they do at least ask donors or returns to wash the clothes. But my expectation for Goodwill is low.

Walmart sells their clothes as "new" (unless noted or if they ever say that). I just think they need to do a better job informing people of worn clothes.

Avatar image for tryit
#39 Posted by TryIt (12800 posts) -

@speedytimsi said:
@tryit said:
@speedytimsi said:
@tryit

no I mean how do you know Goodwill is better than that?

Goodwill is both better and worse. I mean people don't expect much for 99 cents clothes or $35 mystery clothes bin to be supreme. Just don't buy underwear there. Clothes OK....At least Goodwill partially recycle unsold or poor condition clothes or try to save the planet.

What I'm saying is Walmart poses their clothes is new, but yeah sometimes they have some refund clothes in there they do not tell people about.

ok let me help you read what was said in a way that is logical

Clothes are worn and washed and taken back because blood is on it...haha no thanks. Even Goodwill is better than this.

that implies that one has knowledge that Goodwill is not putting clothes back on the rack after a return.

please resolve this

When I say "better," I means that they do a better job in the communication of the item/condition/situation than Walmart, not necessarily the handling of the item. Maybe that's a mistake of me not explaining it explicitly.

Goodwill does not wash clothes. But they do at least ask donors or returns to wash the clothes. But my expectation for Goodwill is low.

Walmart sells their clothes as "new" (unless noted or if they ever say that). I just think they need to do a better job informing people of worn clothes.

ok fair enough

Avatar image for shellcase86
#40 Posted by shellcase86 (4109 posts) -

It's hit or miss.

I'm from the south and don't have a heavy winter jacket as it's not necessary, but had to travel up north for work a couple times last winter/early spring and needed one. Since I wouldn't need to use it more than a couple of times, I didn't want to spend much money. The $20ish jacket I got from Walmart worked very, very well. And continues to hold up well.

Granted it was not perfect, but it did the job and performed better than expected. Similar experience w/ some running shoes I bought from Walmart.

Avatar image for terrancepryor
#41 Posted by TerrancePryor (6 posts) -

I live a few blocks away from a Walmart Supercenter, and it's fantastic. It's 24/7, which means I can head there if I'm looking for a quick bite to eat.

Avatar image for ridgett_b
#42 Posted by Ridgett_B (15 posts) -

I live down the street from Walmart. Prices aren’t too bad but the people that go there have such a sour puss attitude.

Avatar image for lordlobster
#43 Edited by LordLobster (187 posts) -
@Sevenizz said:

Most of their goods are outsourced from China which brings up human rights and quality issues.

That's like 95% of companies. Either China or somewhere like Vietnam or Cambodia.

Avatar image for shellcase86
#44 Posted by shellcase86 (4109 posts) -

@lordlobster said:
@Sevenizz said:

Most of their goods are outsourced from China which brings up human rights and quality issues.

That's like 95% of companies. Either China or somewhere like Vietnam or Cambodia.

That's true. Most business are getting their products manufactured and shipped from countries w/ less reputable practices. Walmart is by no means the only one using this as a business strategy.